CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – Multinational Battle Group East soldiers held a ceremony, Dec. 6, to honor the 19th Annual Ukraine Armed Forces Day, which marks the day in 1991 the Ukraine Parliament adopted the Law “On the Defense of Ukraine.”
The ceremony began with the playing of the Ukraine National Anthem and continued with a review of troops by Ukraine Army Maj. Aleksander Lutsenko, Ukraine Contingent commander.
Lutsenko, a native of Nikolaev, Ukraine, opened with remarks to the soldiers and guests present on the present state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Our main goal of the development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the modern stage is to create not large and equipped (force) but one of modern weapons and military hardware, with well prepared and professional troops,” Lutsenko said. “Today Ukrainian Armed Forces are taking an active part in enhancing international security. Our country is one of the top 20 nations participating actively in peacekeeping around the world.”
He was followed by Lt. Col. Jose Boria-Cruz, MNBG E deputy commander, thanked the Ukraine soldiers for their service.
“You are the best of the best. I thank you for your professionalism and dedication to our mission in Kosovo,” Boria-Cruz said. “I wish you the best on this Ukraine Armed Forces Day.”
The Ukraine Contingent has soldiers from several units but mainly consists of soldiers from the 79th Airmobile Brigade, an elite unit which has specialized combat training. These paratroopers displayed their martial arts skills for their peacekeeping partners as the finale of the ceremony.
“We are an airborne unit with deep pride in our training, the martial arts demonstration was a look at what we are capable of doing,” Lutsenko said.
Also in attendance was Greek Army Col. Chatzithoefanour Georgirn, Hellas Contingent commander, Polish Army Lt. Col. Krzystof Monkiewicz, Polish Contingent commander, Polish Army Capt. Peter Skolmowski, Polish Coy commander, and Turkish Army 1st Lt. Kenan Celik, acting Turkish Coy commander.